“Konnichi-wa Japan”

Japan. October-November 2018. (11 photos)

This is part 1 of my Japan 2018 photo series


Yes, I’ve recently been to Japan. In fact I spent just over 3 weeks in Japan, on the main island of Honshu. Following that I also spent a few days in Melbourne, Australia, but that’s a story for another day perhaps.

Japan (ζ—₯本; Nippon; Nihon) is technically an exonym (an external name not usually used by the locals) for the country the locals call Nippon or Nihon. But Japan is such a well accepted name, that technicality is a bit irrelevant these days.The kanji characters (ζ—₯本) that make up Japan’s name mean “sun origin”, and Japan is often referred to as the “Land of the Rising Sun”. Japan is a volcanic archipelago consisting of about 6,852 islands. The four largest islands are Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, and Shikoku, which make up about 97% of Japan’s land area and often are referred to as home islands. The Japanese population of about 127 million is the world’s tenth largest. About 13.8 million people live in Tokyo, the capital of Japan. The Greater Tokyo Area is the most populous metropolitan area in the world with over 38 million people.

From the capital Tokyo, including Shibuya Crossing (above),rumoured to be the busiest pedestrian intersection/crossing in the world…

“The Crow Castle in Matsumoto”

…to lesser known smaller cities and towns;

“Marriage at the Meiji Shrine”

From the traditional…

“Sunday morning on Takeshita Street”

…to pop culture;

“Spotted Wood Owl meets the Wood Dragon, at an Owl Cafe”

From the sublime…

“Mt Fuji”

…to the iconic;

“Shinto Shrine in Lake Biwa”

From the handiwork of men…

“path in Yoshino”

…to the majesty of Nature’s Autumnal transitions;

“Sunrise over Tokyo, from the 35th floor”

over the next few posts, please come with me to Japan, the land of the rising sun…

“Eikando Temple, Kyoto”

“A place you will never forget”

…it’s a place you will never forget.

This is part 1 of my Japan 2018 photo series.

Leica Etcetera, Photography Etcetera

Konnichi-wa Japan


114 thoughts on “Konnichi-wa Japan

  1. Oh my all those people! Did you feel overwhelmed? But what a fascinating culture, I will look forward to exploring it with you. You are now the third of my blogging buddies to visit Japan

  2. Welcome back Draco, the autumn colours you were hoping to see look magical and I am looking forward to seeing more from this amazing journey through the land of the rising sun πŸπŸŒžπŸ‚

    • Thank you very much. Japan offers so much diversity in beauty and its culture is amazing to experience. In all honesty, I wish I was in the regional areas a week or so later as the colours would be more vivid, I think. However, I’m grateful for what I did see.

    • Thank you very much. It’s taken me a while to get to Japan but I am so glad I did. The cities, country, people, food and culture all made the trip very enjoyable. And the train system is so easy to use and efficient. Of course, I am now considering when I can return. πŸ™‚

  3. Oh, my, all of these photos are so beautiful and so fascinating. I can’t imagine that kind of pedestrian crowd so I won’t and I’ll let your photo suffice! But the rest are so interesting. I can’t wait to see what else you have to share. Post them all! LOL! πŸ˜€

  4. Anne Fraser says:

    Pleased you are back. Your photos are beautiful as always. Japan is a fascinating country. I will definitely enjoy armchair travelling.

    • Thank you very much, Sally. Despite the human density, people queue in a friendly and orderly manner for everything, including trains. People whisper and cover their mouth when they speak on their phones in public places. The pedestrian street signals sound like chirping birds, rather than buzzers. It’s unlike anywhere else in the world. And the countryside, and numerous shrines/temples offer food for the soul. I think I’m hooked.

  5. I will follow you…on your journey. A magnificent country – so they say, everyone who has been there. My whole family has been there, and more than once. Everyone but me. I am looking forward to you as my guide through the mysteries of Japan. Your thoughts and your angles are different. Your mark is on them.

    • Your whole family has been multiple times, except for you – SHAME ON YOU!!! πŸ™‚
      I’m very happy to show you my photos, but my job is not done until you go there. Pedestrian street signals sound like chirping birds, rather than buzzers. That one fact should let you know what to expect in Japan.
      Here’s a true story: My dentist told me she finally convinced her husband to visit Japan 9 years ago. He was never interested in going. Now, they go every year.

      • Well…I have always been interested, but somehow, someone must take care of our home and animals. I worked hard for many years as well, then my husband could go alone as he is older than me. And, my children went with friends – interested in culture, but also the younger culture and the gaming world. One of them returned to study Japanese. I felt I could not tag along with them.
        My son loves Japan so much, he is going back next year again. He says I might come with him, but then we split up after a week or so. He is interested in technology and fashion over there – and he loves the orderliness… and sushi. I would love to see Kyoto and Fuji, the cherries, the monkeys, the architecture…so many things.
        I am relying on you to get the job done…:-D

        • Yes, in country towns I saw 5-7 year olds walking to school without supervision, and in orderly single file. They wore white helmets, too. I was told there are no janitors in primary schools because the children clean up after themselves.

        • Could very well be. I lived at the Yokota Air Base. Which was near Fuchu … The little town was amazing. The only thing I didn’t like was taking 4 hours to get to Tokyo from there and it was only 60 miles away. Crazy. But there little shops were so neat, and the highways there was no speed limit. I became good friends with professional dirt bike riders out there … One man owned a dirt bike repair shop and his son was actually in the US for schooling. Pretty neat. Their trains are amazing to ride on. So confusing though..

  6. I’m excited about this trip. Our younger daughter spent some weeks in Japan as part of a Japanese class and had a wonderful time. Your pictures are as outstanding as usual, but I really like the one of the shrine The first one with all the people just makes me glad I’m not there. πŸ™‚


  7. Looks like a fantastic voyage, done in typical Dragon style. No facet overlooked. Except maybe Hamuketsu. That owl cafe is awesome. But I suppose there are no selfies of you with an owl that you’d care to share?

    • That particular owl cafe has 36 owls inside, and entry is by website appointment only. No phones inside to startle the owls. I found it by accident and managed to get an appointment time the same day. Yes, there are selfie shots, and no, they won’t appear online. πŸ™‚ It was a wonderful and calming experience. No hamster bottoms this trip. Have to save something for next time. πŸ™‚ Japan is enthralling.

  8. It must be on everyone’s wish list! The culture is so very different from that of the west. Stunning images, Draco! The wedding is so sensitively and beautifully captured. The bustle of the city really does not appeal to me but the temples and Fuji… It’s all part of the experience, isn’t it? πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    • It’s so different to anywhere. Roadside barriers that look like Hello Kitties, traffic signals that sound like chirping birds, waiters that bow to you after you leave the restaurant and they will not accept tips. There’s so much beauty.

  9. Oh dear oh dear, that wedding at Meji is the picture I’d love to make! They all are incredible, but that one is my favourite. It’s not just about the colours, composition… it’s the timing that was just spot on! Hat off to you, LD.

    • Thanks very much, Julie. Kind of like NZ, Japan packs in quite a varied landscape for an island nation.You’d love it in Japan. Traffic signals that sound like chirping birds and traffic barricades that look like Hello Kitty. πŸ™‚

  10. Wow… these pictures are all so different… I feel like I just took a fast trip to Japan!! Your photography should be in top magazines… it really is of such high standard. Always love visiting your blog! It’s so good for people like me who find travel too expensive and way too exhausting… I don’t know how you do it all!!

    I have a lot of fabulous Japanese blog friends on Tumblr… I will let them know of what you do here. Some of them are artists and others are into photography, I think they would be absolutely thrilled with your blog and the fact you have visited Japan.

    Apologies for disappearing from Instagram… it was good to connect with you for a while there… I’ve suffered a lot if illness in the last year, so had to seriously cut back on what I do online… my Twitter has gone too. Also sorry for the disabled comments on my blog… I just don’t want to be overwhelmed with answering all the comments at the moment, until feeling more well… I’d rather put what energy I have into the posts.

    Thanks so much for all your lovely comments over the years, it’s so much appreciated… you are wonderful genuine blog friend, and someone who is a great inspiration for me with the photography! πŸ™‚

    • Thanks very much, Suzy. It’s good to hear from you. Yes, I was wondering if there was something amiss when you left Instagram and then started up on WordPress with comments off. I’m truly sorry to hear about the health issues – I hope the recovery is going in the right direction and you have the support you need around you.

      As always, I appreciate your considered commentary. I enjoy our chats.

  11. You had me missing my schooldays in Tokyo from the first shot! The organized chaos that is Shibuya jumps right off the page.

    I also traveled to Matsumoto while resident there but sadly was not armed with a camera at the time.But even if I had been, I don’t think I could have captured Crow Castle as beautifully!

    Your image have me longing to again walk along that path in Yoshino in Nara and to return to Eikando Temple in Kyoto.

    Thanks for taking me back. Off to enjoy a bit more in post #2

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